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Brits Kill 'Turing' Law That Would Have Pardoned Gay, Bi Men


Convictions of "buggery" and "indecency" will remain for now, thanks to wrangling in London.

A British bill that would have granted pardons for men convicted of gay sex is not moving forward, the BBC reports.

The "Turing Bill" -- named for World War II code-breaker Alan Turing, who was subjected to chemical castration because of his homosexuality -- would have removed the criminal records of thousands of gay and bi men, both living and dead.

After emotional testimony from the bill's author, member of Parliament John Nicolson, and shouts of "shame" from sympathetic politicians who saw the legislation dying a slow death, the "Turing Bill" was withdrawn. The conflict was over a companion bill introduced by the Ministry of Justice, which would only pardon dead men convicted of sex crimes. The government believes Nicolson's Sexual Offences (Pardons) Bill could lead to the clearing of convictions for behavior that remains criminal.

Nicolson's bill would overturn the convictions of men charged under a 1956 "buggery" law and an 1885 sexual "offences" act, assuming all those involved were consensual partners and over 16 at the time.

An estimated 49,000 British men have been convicted for consensual gay sex. Support for overturning such convictions came after the 2014 release of The Imitation Game, which centered on Turing's tortured life. The mathematical genius was officially pardoned by Queen Elizabeth that same year.

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